Aria designs was created by visual artist Yazma Smith in response to the 200 year gap in artistic development of the tangata whenua of Whaingaroa.
Pre – treaty, Whaingaroa was a hub for creative innovation evidenced in toanga tuku iho ( treasures of the ancestors) found in private collections from all over the world.
What happened to this industrious creative spirit?Why are a large percentage of our Marae unadorned? Why only one history, one ideology being represented? Why are our Whaingaroa stories left untold? Where are our heroines and hero’s? These are the questions that guide and motivate the creative principals of aria designs.
By restoring the communicative power of contemporary Maori Visual Arts as a medium to inform and transform our cultural identity unique to Whaingaroa.
We share a proud and vibrant history.
If the story of Whaingaroa is to be told, then who better than us, to tell it.